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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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34                                       *LOBA INDICA.
growing on open slppes. The common Junipers defy all at-
tempts at circumscription by habit, and so do the Cotone-
asters. The Himalayan Box (Sarcococca),']lke that of Eu-
rope, 4s oiow an undershrub and now a tree.' The Hippophae
-fcnd Sfyricaria of Western Tibet, which are first met with as
tree? as they ascend to colder regions dwindle down to little
shrubs, stunted and almost prostrate; while Ephedra, an erect
shrub, two feet high, on the Indus, at 7000 feet, ixx the more
humid climate of Kunawur sends out long, lax, whip-like
branches, and at 15,000 feet is scarce an inch long. Let any
one recal to mind the gigantic Sal, with tapering trunk, iu the
Terai forest, and the gnarled tree it becomes on dry slopes;
or contrast the noble Sissoo uear a village in Upper India
with the slender, pale, and apparently sickly (yet really robust
and healthy) inhabitant of the gravelly banks of streams at
the base of the Himalaya; or the-wilS Jujube, an underahrub,
not a foot high, with the same plant cultivated as a Dread-
ing tree. Many figs have straight, erect, unsupj)orted trunks,
in open dry places, yot in humid forests the same species
send down thousands of roots from their branches, like the
Banyan. Most of the Indian annuals are, in like manner,
multiform; being tall, slender, and delicate, in moiat gm»sy
places, during the rains, and prostrate and wiry'in open npots,
and at a drier season: this is especially the case with the
little Cassia of the Mimosoid group, with various Indigofwa
and Alysica/rpi, and even with dEsckynomene,
The universal recognition of the importance of habit, w* a
chacactcr upon which to found specific distinction, is the more
surprising, when we consider how many well-marked varieties
are distinguished mainly by habit, aad, though very permanent
when the plants are increased by cuttings or graft*, HOOIX dm*
appear when they are raised from seed. The weeping birch
aad ash arc good instances of this, as well o» the Lombardy
poplar—a dioecious tree, of which one sex only is known, and
that in cultivation, and which appears to be nothing more
than a tapering state of Poputus »&•*> accidentally produced,